Situated just a stone’s throw from Chinon, the Château of Le Rivau cultivates its unique character with just a touch of madness! The medieval fortress reveals an enchanted world in which the footsteps of knights, fair ladies and war horses still echo today. Through an impressive array of special effects, the château unravels the threads of time, combining fantasy with reality. From its Gothic interiors to the stables and romantic gardens, an absolutely bewitching experience awaits you at the Château of Le Rivau.
The Château of Le Rivau brings heritage to life like never before! The ancient medieval forest is a perfect backdrop for the castle’s ancient architecture and multiple gardens, offering a totally magical experience, and the current owners’ resourcefulness has transformed Le Rivau into a fairy-tale castle.

Built in 1420, the château was brought as a dowry by Anne de Fontenay for her marriage to Pierre de Beauvau, who was Grand Chamberlain to Charles VII. The king granted him permission to fortify to the medieval building, which was already well-known at the time because of the war horses trained there. Joan of Arc and her companions even came here to find horses for the Siege of Orléans. Pierre de Beauvau built a real fortress with turrets, moats, machicolations, a drawbridge and ramparts which still bear testimony today of typical fortifications in the Middle Ages. His descendant, François de Beauvau, continued the works and renovated the superb stables, which were the first in France to be decorated in such an ornate style. 

Although imposing from the outside, the château was furnished with interiors that were far more inviting, reflecting the finesse of a pleasure residence. Generations of the Beauvau family lived at the château, which is not far from Chinon, the home of the renowned writer François Rabelais. The latter even mentioned Le Rivau in his novel Gargantua: “since Gargantua gave the Château of Le Rivau to Captain Tolmère, as a reward for his victories in the Picrochiline wars”! In the 18th century, the château was bought by the Marquis Michel-Ange de Castellane, Lord of Villandry, before passing between various owners until the 20th century, when it became the property of the sculptor Alphonse de Moncel de Perrin. In 1918, he successfully received classification for the castle as a French Historic Monument.

At the end of the last century, two new people moved into the property and “magically” transformed it into an extraordinary castle worthy of a fairy tale. From the monumental Gothic fireplaces to the painted ceilings, the interiors were fully renovated and theatrically redesigned. The château now echoes with a plethora of sounds recreating the time of lords, tournaments, feasts, and musicians… a real spectacle that culminates in the stables with audiovisual projections. Another magical touch is brought to the château by the contemporary works of art that have been slipped in amongst the collection of hunting trophies, humorously revealing a new type of hunting art. The many delights at Château of Le Rivau also notably include the gardens, where reality makes way for the romance of fairy tales, and a fantastical natural world...
Not to be missed

Fairy-tale gardens

The gardens at Le Rivau are brimming with imagination, inspired by the most unusual tales and legends. Nature blends with contemporary art to create 14 fairy-tale scenes telling fabulous stories where young and old alike will be immersed in a magical adventure.
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Hidden treasure

The Conservatory of Fragrant Roses

There is something remarkable about the rose collection at the Château of Le Rivau: all of the flowers have been specially selected for the quality of their scent.
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The royal stables

A magnificent building from the 16th century, the stables at the Château of Le Rivau are the oldest in France.
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News from the château
Programme Fête des roses 2023-page-001 (1)
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Practical information


Château and gardens of Le Rivau
9 rue du Château
37120, LEMERE
Fermé en ce moment
+ opening times
+ prices
From € 12.5 /  person
"Accueil Vélo"Qualité TourismeJardin remarquableDémarche d'excellence grands sitesVignobles et DécouvertesEscapades aux jardins
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Things to see in the area
How to get there
The Château of Le Rivau is a fifteen-minute drive from Chinon train station, which can be reached in 2 hours 30 mins from Paris-Montparnasse station. Chinon is a 2 hours 30 mins by car from Paris on the A10. The A85 motorway also leads to the château, and it is just 50 minutes from Tours. Tours airport has flights to Portugal, Ireland, Great Britain and Morocco. 

Your journey